Since abruptly retiring in 2013 following a highly contested win over Johny Hendricks at UFC 167 fans were either hoping Georges St Pierre stayed retired or eventually returned to entertain potential compelling match ups. With his announcement of coming out of retirement and the UFC booking GSP against Michael Bisping for the Middleweight title, fans are left with more questions than answers.
With news of St. Pierre suffering from an eye injury, which is said to be the reason he could not accept the Bisping fight until the Fall, lets recap some of the craziness surrounding the GSP return since he signed a new deal in February.
The rowdy UFC press conference is something of a given these days and fans are starting to understand the mentality behind selling a fight to its best potential. That was the scene in March when we witnessed the return of the previous biggest star the UFC produced in a vastly different scene in the world of MMA or better yet, UFC. GSP, usually one to stray away from verbal conflict couldn’t help but wrinkle his usual presser suit and tie as he was lured into some good old fashioned trash talk.
Dana White expressed hope in scheduling the fight on July, which Bisping agreed to while GSP remained relatively mum on the subject, but did allude to needing time to bulk up prior to the anticipated bout. Following the presser, we didn’t really hear much, which usually leads to bad news and that’s when rumors of GSP not accepting the fight in July citing more time. Bisping responded to said rumors by stating he will not fight GSP on his terms and if he wasn’t ready by July then he’d gladly defend his title against the #1 middleweight in the UFC rankings, Yoel Romero. The rumors of GSP not being ready until the Fall was confirmed by GSP via a video message to Bisping when GSP stated he’d be ready to fight the champ after October, which bothered fans and reasonably so.
Then things only got weirder when Dana White unexpectedly stated that Bisping-GSP is off and instead we’ll get Bisping vs Yoel Romero. This made fans happy, although I am sure there were fans who were a fair share of disappointment that the initial announced return bout was scrapped.
Both Bisping and GSP claimed they haven’t heard anything directly from the UFC. Bisping then stated his knee would not be ready in July to defend his title against Romero. In between all this confusion came the proposed interim middleweight title bout between Anderson Silva and Romero at UFC 212 in June, which didn’t really gain traction. An angry Silva aired his grievances on the MMA Hour soon after as he bashed Dana White and the UFC, but that story has yet to find some sort of resolution.
The strange allure continued to spread throughout plans for International Fight week as Cody Garbrandt’s abnormal back treatment in Germany forced UFC to scrap the bout as a headline for UFC 213. This led to Dillashaw calling for a title shot against UFC Flyweight champion Demetrious Johnson who isn’t too keen on the idea of a non-tile wearing newcomer coming down to his weight class to challenge for his title.
Back to Bisping-GSP, things appeared to get resolved when the UFC announced that the replacement bout for Dillashaw-Garbrandt is an interim Middleweight title fight between #3 ranked Robert Whittaker and Romero.
The plot thickens as GSP publicly reveals an eye injury that has been ailing since before the initial press conference. GSP revealed that he was instructed not to spar until September. Hmm. Why didn’t he reveal this sooner? Some aren’t buying it, but it does make sense that he would rather hide the injury from his opponent. While the fight is still many months away, that leaves plenty of times for things to get even weirder.